Failing health of elderly Exclusive Brethren member......

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Failing health of elderly Exclusive Brethren member......

Post by LadyKiwi » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:05 am

Failing health of elderly Exclusive Brethren member convicted of sex offences
Last updated 17:22, September 8 2017

A church member jailed for historical sex offences against his young nephew has had three heart attacks in prison.

The sentence of the Exclusive Brethren man, now in his 80s, should have been less to take account of factors like his failing health, his lawyer said in the Court of Appeal on Friday.

The man, whose name was suppressed, has spent since early July in jail after being sentenced to two years and four months for 22 sex offences against his nephew about 50 years ago.

He appealed against his conviction and sentence. The three appeal judges reserved their decision

A jury in the Blenheim District Court heard in June how the man played "games" with his nephew, aged between 7 and 9, sometimes in the shower, when he was babysitting in the 1960s.

But at the appeal lawyers for the man said evidence raised doubts about the complainant's account, including whether the house he was speaking of even had a shower.

The defence said it should have been allowed to call evidence about a second man the complainant had named when he went to the police about his uncle in 2012.

The other accusation, made against a former teacher, suggested the complainant may have transferred memories about one person to the other.

Lawyer Chris Tennet​ said the man's dangerous health condition meant the charges should have been stopped before the trial took place. It also meant it would have been unwise for him to give evidence because of the extra stress, and limited his options at the trial.

The man's other lawyer, Nick McKessar, said the case raised the possibility of prejudice against the Exclusive Brethren church. The complainant was out of the church and the jury may have thought some of the evidence was a "closing of ranks" against the complainant.

After the man was convicted, he spent the weekend in hospital because of his medical condition. Since being in prison, he has had three heart attacks. McKessar said the man should have received home detention.

The judge was wrong to send the man to prison when a doctor said his life hung in the balance if he was under stress, he said.

Crown lawyer, Mark Lillico​, said Parliament had not set time limits for hearing historical claims of sexual abuse, and separately two judges had decided the charges against the man could proceed.

The jury had heard the evidence about the surrounding circumstances the defence said made the complainant's account unreliable, and the jury must have still believed the complainant.

The man was found guilty of 22 charges, each with a maximum of 10 years' jail, against a vulnerable child over a two-year period. The sentence had to be judged against the seriousness of those charges, Lillico said.

The district court was told about the man's heart condition and that he was often cared for in hospital.

The judge was not wrong to have decided against giving a compassionate sentence, Lillico said.

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Re: Failing health of elderly Exclusive Brethren member.....

Post by abishag » Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:29 am

Hales takes the view with these historical cases that the problems associated with child abuse only existed between the victim and the perpetrator or pedophile. Hence it is a matter for the victim to take up with the police with no involvement or consequences for the Brethren themselves. They were innocent bystanders.

Well I know how they treated these some of these kids and I'm talking about the Brethren here, when these matters became public knowledge and it was appalling. They said to these children, you were complicit in what went on. You must have gone along with it - which makes you wicked as well. They forget that some of these kids were 8 or 9 years of age or even younger. They offered no help, no support, no protection and no counseling. Removal of this statute of limitations in these cases will see more cases go before the courts and the Brethren's name and reputation being called into question. They should hang their heads in shame for the way they handled these cases as a church. It was as wicked as it was cruel.

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Re: Failing health of elderly Exclusive Brethren member.....

Post by fisherman » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:27 pm

The record of the RC church in the residential schools for First Nations kids is similar,they tried the same dodge to avoid responsibility and fought tooth and nail to prevent these cases being made public but eventualy caved in under public pressure for a public inquiry and set up a panel to investigate any case of child abuse while under their system...not only the individual priests but the church itself was held liable....but it took decades of public pressure and many court cases* to get the church to admit their reponsability,which to their credit,they eventually did.Maybe those 'trust funds' will come in handy after all....for councelling services for the victims...

* my neighbour,now a retired judge was appointed a special prosecutor to go after a high ranking member of the church and despite hiring the best lawyers available,they lost the case and this likely contributed to the tipping point of capitulating.I only hope the EB might have the integrity to appoint a disinterested panel of professionals to do the same.....

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